Fresh assault on Lebanon camp

The new military offensive follows sporadic clashes during the night.

    The assault is continuing at a steady pace [AFP]

    The group, entrenched in the Nahr al-Bared camp in northern Lebanon, threatened on Thursday to widen attacks if the army bombardment continued.


    A total of 109 people, including 48 soldiers, have been killed since the start of the army campaign on the Nahr al-Bared camp.


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    Reports emerged on Friday that some captured Fatah al-Islam fighters had told interrogators that one of their targets were elements of Unfil (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), a 12,700–member UN peacekeeping contingent.


    A judicial source said on Friday that, "in the course of  interrogations, some members of Fatah al-Islam confessed that one of the principle aims of their group was to militarily attack Unifil operating in south Lebanon".


    Unifil is patrolling the Lebanon's border with Israel under the terms of a UN-brokered truce to last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party and resistance movement.


    The judicial source said they some captured fighters spoke of being "indoctrinated" against Christians, Shia Muslims and leading Sunni figures, considered to be "infidels."


    Warehouse blast


    On Thursday night, a Lebanese man was killed and three other people wounded in a blast at a warehouse used to fill oxygen canisters in a Christian industrial area north of Beirut.


    It is not known who is responsible for
    the explosion in Zouk Mosbeh [Reuters]

    No group  claimed responsibility for the explosion in the Zouk Mosbeh area, 20km north of Beirut.


    A policeman said: "A medium-sized explosive charge had been put inside a car parked near the factory."


    He said that casualties were low because there were few people in the industrial zone at night.


    Lebanese soldiers and firefighters attended at least one large fire that was started by the blast. A building was badly damaged and several cars destroyed.


    Four explosions have struck the Beirut area since May 20, when Lebanese troops and fighters from Fatah al-Islam first started to clash in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.


    Syria blamed


    Against this backdrop of continued violence, Samir Geagea, head of the pro-government Lebanese Forces movement, accused the Syrian intelligence of masterminding the bombings in Beirut and the clashes in northern Lebanon.


    In a telephone interview to Al Jazeera, he said that political solutions are not enough for the security challenges facing Lebanon at present.


    Geagea said the issue of control of the Syria border has to be resolved before any move could be made towards a government of national unity, an idea that he said his party is not opposed to.


    Explosions foiled


    On Thursday, Lebanese security forces said they found three cars rigged with bombs in the country's east, a day after a group of people - two Lebanese and two Syrians - possessing weapons and explosives were arrested on suspicion that they were linked to al-Qaeda.


    Afterwards, a security source told Al Jazeera that Lebanese authorities have arrested Aziz Fahd al-Magams, a Saudi national suspected of being the head of a network to which the four were linked.


    The men have confessed to being members of al-Qaeda who had fought in Iraq and in Syria, the security source said.


    They also said that they had been recruited by armed Muslim groups and had come to Lebanon to offer what they called "support to the Sunnis", the source said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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